Meghalaya CM unhappy, Shah says Citizenship Act will be tweaked

Citizenship Bill, Amit Shah, Northeast, Chief Ministers, student unions, civil society, CAB, Sarbananda Sonowal, Pema Khandu, Conrad Sangma, Kiren Rijiju, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram
Shah, who was addressing his first poll rally in Jharkhand after the citizenship law was amended, said he wants to assure the people of Assam and other states of the northeast that their culture, language, social identity and political rights will be not be affected by the act. File photo: PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday (December 15) has hinted at tweaking the Citizenship (Amendment) Act if needed and said Meghalaya’s chief minister Conrad Sangma and his cabinet ministers met him on Friday to discuss the issue.

Shah, who was addressing his first poll rally in Jharkhand after the citizenship law was amended, said he wants to assure the people of Assam and other states of the northeast that their culture, language, social identity and political rights will be not be affected by the act.

“Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma and his ministers said there is a problem in Meghalaya. I tried to make them understand that there is no issue. Yet, they requested me to make some changes in the act. I have asked Sangma ji to come to me when he is free after Christmas and we can think of a constructive solution for Meghalaya. Nobody has anything to fear.”

Also read | Beleaguered Mamata in a spot as citizenship bill protests singes Bengal

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Protests erupted in several parts of the northeast since Parliament approved the amended act. The violence spread to other states including West Bengal, Delhi, and Mumbai which saw several incidents of arson and vandalisation of public property.

The amended Citizenship Law allows Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Christians and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It has roiled the northeast, which has for long demanded protections to safeguard its cultural identity.

Also read | Citizenship Act protest: 5 trains set afire, 7 rescheduled in Bengal

Blaming the Congress for instigating violence in the Northeast he said, “we have brought the amended Citizenship Act and the Congress got a stomach ache and is fanning violence against it.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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